Broken ice cream machines at McDonald’s have been the butt of jokes and points of criticism from customers and competitors. Now, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is looking into issue.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that the FTC this summer sought information from McDonald’s relating to the constantly broken ice cream machines from location to location. Those machines account for nearly 60% of U.S. dessert sales at McDonald’s.

“Owners of McDonald’s outlets have long complained the devices are overly complicated and their breakdowns hard to fix. The machines require a nightly automated heat-cleaning cycle that can last up to four hours to destroy bacteria. The cleaning cycle can fail, making the machines unusable until a repair technician can get them going again, owners say,” the Journal reported.

The Journal noted, however, that the FTC is merely inquiring about the machines, and that “the existence of a preliminary investigation does not indicate the FTC or its staff have found any wrongdoing,” according to a letter from the agency obtained by the outlet.


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